How have propaganda networks of the past fared over the long term?

Because of the recent Talk of Russia Today, I’m very interested in seeing how propaganda networks fare over the long term.

Are they naturally instable and prone to failure at the first major sign of deception?

Or by their very nature are they good at maintaining themselves and the regimes at which they support, only crumbling when the underlying power itself crumbles?

Well thisnews company started out as a propaganda machine and ended up doing quite well for itself for many generations. Of course you’re referring to countries, but I’d say the Hearst empire yielded more influence in it’s days than many countries do then or now.

When I first began to hear of Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990’s, I thought for sure he would be a burned-out has-been in just a few years.

Uh, not so fast.

Similarly, Fox News and its whole menagerie of propagandists. They don’t seem to be burning out, no matter how many of their lies are exposed (like those transparently doctored videos of demonstrations in Washington they do, or used to do).

My first thought was that it’s a question of management, not deception. Put Fox in the wrong hands (er, for certain definitions of wrong) and it would sink like a rock.

The BBC is still around. As is Voice of America.

I find Russia Today quite interesting.

Pure propaganda outlets barely last. Outfits where propaganda is just one part of their output do better.

Look, I know this isn’t GD, but while Fox News is certainly skewed to the right, they are less so than CNN and MSNBC are biased to the left. There are simply more people in the media who believe that the left is closer to ‘the truth’, so it just becomes self-fulfilling.

More importantly, the explosion of online and now mainly wireless media spells death for propaganda. It is no surprise that in totalitarian countries social media is strictly prohibited or banned (sometimes under penalty of death). That’s not to say that inaccuracies and occasionally outright falsehoods aren’t still going to get traction, people will still want to believe what they want to believe, but to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson- An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic.

That’s pretty much a textbook effect of propaganda (I don’t know you as a poster, so forgive me if this was a whoosh).

Ah, no it’s not. When I watch Fox I see the bias in a lot of things, and the same goes for CNN. The difference is that if you say Fox is propaganda politically naive people will just nod approvingly, but if you say CNN is you get jingoistically called a klansman or a Nazi. This thread has already shown this…

This thread didn’t start out as propaganda but now it has become so–the same can hold for media outlets.

Since the definition of what’s propaganda and what’s news is going to depend on one’s politics, let’s move this over to Great Debates.

General Questions Moderator

This is true only if you accept that politifact, and really any fact checking organization that isn’t run/founded by right-wing think takes (remember, Fox News was pitched as “Republican TV” during its planning stages) are all part of some pan-American conspiracy against “the truth.”

The degree of deceptiveness and absurd tactics Fox employs is disgusting, and if you do watch Fox, the statistics strongly indicate that you have been rendered unable to accurately assess bias, because of how distorted your facts are. Here’s an article (with links to the actual study) - one of many - that shows how bad Fox is. Quite literally, late night comedians give better information than Fox News.

That’s not to say that CNN and MSNBC are particularly accurate. They’re just a whole order of magnitude less flagrantly inaccurate than Fox.

Well, I do think this is missing a lot, and it is a false equivalency.

One basic item I take into account is what the replacements their media stars get.

When people like Hannity or O’Reilly get sick or they have something personal to do their replacements are people like Huckabe, Newt Gingrich or even freaking Chuck Norris. Way to the right ideologues.

When at CNN ABC or CBS a temporary replacement is needed we get… Who the heck is this guy or gal? It is usually a plain vanilla in training anchor or host that tries to be fair.

If you were correct I would expect something like this: “Tonight, on CNN’s The Situation Room., substituting Wolf Blitzer tonight: Michael Moore!”

I have never seen that happen, and yet if the universe was like many right wingers think the corporate media is, we would had seen many of those examples of ideologues of the left replacing media stars of the corporate news or news magazines when needed. (I would had loved to see the very right wingers crapping in their pants at the sight of a substitution like that if we lived in that universe.)

In reality one had to wait until MSNBC came with hosts like Rachel Maddow and others when many on the left reported more fairness but it is limited. CNN ABC, CBS and many others do not follow or report day in and day out the equivalent of the right’s Benghazi “scandals”; important issues for the left like workers rights, clean air, clean water, health care etc. are only issues to report when a disaster takes place or a problem can not be ignored. Preventing a problem from happening or getting worse would require constant reminders to the people but that would affect the bottom line of the media group so a lot of what is considered important for the left and the middle of the road is not reported much, particularly if the right does not considers the subject to be important.

Very well put.

Another of Fox News’ limitations is that it can’t turn its screed off. It use to be the go to place for breaking news stories; now every breaking news story is turned into a forum for the failures for the network’s political opponents. That grows tiring after a while…except to people who want to hear that.

Strictly propaganda grows irritating because it can rarely vary its theme. If you intersperse it with informative or entertaining programs or stories, you could conceivably last forever. Unfortunately, for Fox News they have alienated too many entertaining people so they are unable to expand their base. CNN and MSNBC have yet to do this and that’s why they are able to successfully the propaganda which they spew.

BBC is a propaganda network?

Perhaps technically in WW2.

In a way, Fox is a victim of its own success… they have become the #1 undisputed source of information+analysis for a non-negligible amount of people by creating an echo chamber that makes that group of people feel warm, fuzzy, and feeling like their beliefs coincide with a majority of Americans. The irony being, of course, that the fuzzy warmth manifests in being consistently terrified of various threats, both real and imagined, and being subjected to endless shilling by gold dealers.

It’s like a sports radio station that only covers a single team… you would very likely grow a die-hard fanbase from among that team’s supporters, but be entirely unappealing to the majority. Someone with a bit more industry know-how might dispute me on this, but from what I as a listener can deduce that’s not how sports talk radio works.

Interestingly enough, on television it seems that the single-viewpoint format is possible (and even very lucrative): the YES Network (an all-New York Yankees station that is, in fact, owned by the team) seems to be doing alright.

That’s pretty funny. Not just funny, but as already mentioned, clear evidence of the effect of said propaganda. **GIGObuster ** provided a good perspective on it, too. No, here’s the difference. MSNBC is actually a news organization with a left-leaning bias. CNN is mostly afflicted by low standards and a corporate bias; politically, they are pretty centrist. In fact when one sees people like Sanjay Gupta in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry and discussing the problems of health care as if it’s some kind of obscure mystery what the rest of the world is doing, the corporatism is so flagrant that it’s indistinguishable from Fox News. But the bottom line is, MSNBC and CNN are news organizations with various degrees of imperfections and biases; Fox News is simply the propaganda arm of the Republican Party, with absolutely no qualms about the fact that they are a shameless pack of liars – in fact lying is so much their standard operating mode that they actually and shamelessly sued for the right to lie.

Jefferson was right. But on what planet do Internet blogs, astroturf advocacy sites, right-wing propaganda networks, and late-night talk radio lunacy qualify as “enlightenment”? What the US has is lots of the preceding, all dominated by corporatism and special interests, while meanwhile operating the worst-funded public broadcasting system in the entire industrialized world – and right-wing nutjobs are trying to shut down even that. “Enlightenment” that is not. No wonder health care is totally broken, the government is entirely dominated by corporate interests, climate change is considered a hoax, and lunatics are revising textbooks to include creationism in the biology curriculum.

Don’t forget those real lunatics: the Moon Hoaxers. Had a lot of fun and learned a lot when debunking them in the SDMB, the latest crop of moon hoaxers came out of the woodwork when FOX made a lot of noise with their ``Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?’’ TV show.
(The Bad Astronomer debunked them back then)

There were deniers of the moon landings back in the 60’s but they did not have much support, I have to blame FOX for that eruption of ignorance back in 2001. Maybe they are making Cosmos now as atonement.

Hey, you know they’re just… asking… questions…

There have been various theories about why the right-wing fringe is so prone to conspiracy theories. I really think it just boils down to where they tend to get their information. Eventually a whole self-reinforcing subculture develops around outlandish beliefs where the government, the UN, the academic and scientific communities, and basically all institutions with which they feel disconnected and unfamiliar are all alleged to be plotting secret conspiracies.

The one happy note in all this is that when Buzz Aldrin was being harassed on a public street by the moon-landing hoax conspiracy lunatic Bart Sibrel, who claimed Aldrin had never walked on the moon and called him a coward and a liar, Aldrin had a wonderful response that still warms my heart. The elderly white-haired Aldrin pulled back his arm and punched Sibrel in the face. :slight_smile: